Document Type : Original Article


Poult. Dept., Fac. Agric., Zagazig Univ., Egypt


This experiment was conducted to study the effect of dietary antibiotic and essential oil supplementation on growth performance ]live body weight (LBW), daily body weight gain (LBWG), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR)[ and carcass characteristics of growing Japanese quail. A total number of 360 one week old Japanese quail chicks were randomly distributed into 8 treatment groups each of 45 chicks with three replicates )15 chicks each). Chicks of all experimental groups had nearly the same average initial weight. The 1st group was fed the basal diet without supplementation as control, the 2nd was fed the basal diet supplemented with 0.50g antibiotic (colistine)/kg diet. The 3rd and 4th groups were fed the basal diet supplemented with 0.50 ml and 1.0 ml ginger oil (GO)/kg diet, respectively. The 5th and 6th groups were fed the basal diet supplemented with 0.5 ml and 1.0 ml cinnamon oil (CO) /kg diet, respectively. The 7th and 8th groups were fed the basal diet supplemented with 0.50 ml and 1.0 ml /kg mixture of GO plus CO (1:1), respectively. Results showed that chicks received 0.25 ml GO and 0.25 ml CO/kg diet had significantly (P<0.05) higher LBW compared with those received 0.5 g antibiotic /kg diet. Daily body weight gain  significantly (P<0.05)  increased when birds received diets containing different levels of GO or CO and 0.25 ml GO +0.25 ml CO/kg diet as compared with birds received 0.5 g antibiotic/kg diet. No significant differences in feed intake were recorded among dietary treatments during all the studied experimental period (1-3, 3-5 and 1-5 weeks of age). The better feed conversion ratio (FCR) value was recorded by chicks fed diet supplemented with 1.0 ml CO/kg diet, while the poorest FCR value was recorded by chicks fed 0.5 g antibiotic /kg. In addition, percent of carcass, dressing and gizzard were significantly (P<0.01) affected by dietary treatments. It could be concluded that GO and CO could act as a good alternative to antibiotics (colistine) in growing Japanese quail diets.